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Radical Publishing in CDMX | La Imprenta Radical en CDMX

About this Series

The “Radical Publishing in CDMX” speaker series highlights creative bibliographic research and practice originating in Mexico City and aims to highlight transnationalism in bibliographic studies and tie bibliographic history to the current sociopolitical context. These programs are structured around the language justice principle that everyone has the right to communicate and be heard in the language in which they feel most comfortable; each speaker will give their presentation in their first language (Spanish); simultaneous interpretation will be provided by Antena Los Angeles. As such, this series aims to reach a broader audience outside the US, particularly in Mexico and across Latin America. This series is organized by T-Kay Sangwand, Librarian for Digital Collection Development at UCLA and Rare Book School/Mellon Foundation Cultural Heritage Fellow (2020-2022) and co-sponsored by UCLA Libraries.

Funded in part by a generous gift from an anonymous donor.

Please click on the registration link for each session for complete speaker bios in English and Spanish.

Anarchist Poetry, Revolutionary Propaganda, and a Prison Library: Examining the Textual Legacy of Mexico’s Magonismo and Its Resonances Today | Poesía anarquista, propaganda revolucionaria y una biblioteca de la cárcel: examinando el legado textual de Magonismo y sus resonancias hoy en día

Diego Flores Magón in conversation with T-Kay Sangwand | Diego Flores Magón en conversación con T-Kay Sangwand

Friday December 11, 2020, 3 pm Eastern (click to register)

Through an examination of renowned Mexican anarchist Enrique Flores Magón’s library, Diego Flores Magón traces the impact of Mexican anarchist thought Magonismo, its influences on revolutionary movements in Mexico and the US during the early 1900s, and its resonances today. Starting with the radical “prison library” that Enrique’s brother Ricardo circulated during his incarceration in Leavenworth Penitentiary (Kansas) to the numerous informally published pamphlets of Ricardo’s writing that were sold by solidarity organizers for his legal fund, to anarchist poetry inspired by Magonismo, Diego analyzes how Mexican anarchist thought crossed geographic and temporal borders and reflects on the impact of the Flores Magón revolutionary textual legacy. Through his revitalization of La Casa del Hijo de El Ahuizote, the original Flores Magón printing space in Mexico City’s historic city center, Diego discusses current printing efforts imbued by the spirit of Magonismo and the process of creating facsimile editions of rare anarchist newspapers and poetry found in the Flores Magón library.

A través de la biblioteca del anarquista renombrado Enrique Flores Magón, Diego Flores Magón rastrea el impacto del Magonismo y su influencia en los movimientos revolucionarios en México y en los Estados Unidos durante los principios del siglo veinte, y examina también sus resonancias hoy en día. Empezando con la biblioteca roja de Ricardo Flores Magón (el hermano de Enrique) que circulaba mientras él estaba encarcelado en la Penitenciaria Leavenworth (Kansas, EEUU) hasta los numerosos folletos de la escritura de Ricardo que los activistas vendieron para apoyar su causa legal y la poesía anarquista inspirada por el Magonismo, Diego analiza cómo el pensamiento anarquista mexicano cruzó fronteras geográficas y temporales y cómo refleja el legado textual revolucionario de los hermanos Flores Magón. Con la revitalización de La Casa de El Hijo del Ahuizote, el lugar original de la imprenta de los hermanos Flores Magón, Diego hablará sobre sus proyectos editoriales actuales, que canalizan el espíritu de “magonismo” y los procesos para crear ediciones facsímiles de periódicos anarquistas y poesía que se encuentra en la biblioteca Flores Magón.

This is a book and ‘our word is our weapon’; the politics of experimental publishing in Latin America

E. Tonatiuh Trejo in conversation with Jennifer Osorio | E. Tonatiuh Trejo en conversación con Jennifer Osorio

Thursday, January 21, 2021, 3pm Eastern/2pm Central/12pm Pacific (click to register)

Founded in 2011 in Mexico City, Esto es un Libro (This is a book) is an experimental publishing lab, library, and community space that aims to challenge and transform our notions of traditional editorial processes and products through horizontal means of editorial production and the participatory (not passive) consumption of literary objects. Founder of Esto es un Libro and curator of Biblioteca de Anomalías (Library of Anomalies), E. Tonatiuh Trejo will discuss the editorial philosophy and production of Esto es un Libro that includes artist books in various formats (i.e. postcards, textiles, polyptychs, LPs) that respond to significant sociopolitical moments such as the Zapatista movement, Mexico’s war on drugs, and the Covid-19 pandemic. Drawing upon Library of Anomalies’ rich collection of artist books from Latin America, Trejo will further contextualize Esto es un Libro’s production within the current political moment and movements in the region. Focusing specifically on experimental publishing in Chile and Brazil, Trejo will highlight how both the content and the material object (including format, media, typography) reflect and respond to recent social uprisings and the necessity of learning about artist book production in/from the global south.

In defense of “cognitive territories”: translation and typography as tools for self determination in Santa Fe de la Laguna, Michoacán (Mexico)

Sol Aréchiga Mantilla in conversation with T-Kay Sangwand | Sol Aréchiga Mantilla en conversación con T-Kay Sangwand

Friday, February 12, 2021, 3pm Eastern/2pm Central/12pm Pacific (click to register)

As Mixe linguist and activist Yásnaya Aguilar Gil states, “A language is not just a linguistic system but also a cognitive territory where indigenous languages have been historically in conflict with the…state…As such, [we can’t] think of fighting for the vitality of our languages without fighting for the autonomy of our lands” (“La lengua no es cultura,” 2020). With autonomy and self-determination as its underlying principles, linguist and translator Sol Aréchiga Mantilla founded hormiguero publishing which works with non-hegemonic languages, particularly indigenous languages in Mexico, as well as the tools of translation and typography that facilitate their publication and study. Drawing upon her experience facilitating Spanish-Purépecha translation workshops in Santa Fe de la Laguna, Michoácan, Aréchiga Mantilla discusses how the development of specialized typography for indigenous languages is essential for preserving not only the languages themselves, but also the epistemologies and world visions that they embody and that are intimately tied to both their ancestral lands and present day territories.


Hacking the quotidian with Mexico’s RRD collective: creative experimentation and transnational collaborations around print technologies and public space

Members of RRD in conversation with T-Kay Sangwand | Miembros de RRD en conversación con T-Kay Sangwand

Friday, March 12, 2021, 3pm Eastern/2pm Central/12pm Pacific (click to register)

RRD (Red de Reproducción y Distribución / Reproduction and Distribution Network) is an artist collective based in Mexico City that playfully experiments with and remixes traditional print and audiovisual formats and distribution networks to produce and circulate counternarratives intended for a broad public as well as artists and others in publishing/literary realms. The collective will discuss how their projects, publications, and interventions draw upon low tech distribution and printing mechanisms and range from hyperlocal to transnational in scope to address issues such as Covid-19, youth movements and government repression, and information piracy. Their newspaper kiosk in front of the Mexico City metro station Juanacatlán serves as a public meeting space for their different audiences to encounter each other as well as unconventional printed works (such as zines, artist books, subversive comics) and site specific public art. RRD will discuss the interventions at its kiosk, the publications it houses, and how these elements have translated in its collaborations and workshops (on typography, mimeograph, and risograph) with youth and artists in Taipei, Bangkok, and Bogotá.